Lights are off, but someone’s home. Hiding under the bed, but home nonetheless

Today is one of those days that the lights are off, literally. It scares people, I think, when I isolate myself in the dark. But what I hope they come to understand is that I am still approachable — I promise, I won’t bite (unless they’re into that sort of thing! LOL) or swear (out loud, anyway!).

For me, lights-out time, even if only for an hour, is like a vacation or a sick day — it’s time I am spending letting my tightly wound thoughts, well, unwind. It takes a lot to work me up into a frothy fit, but it only takes moments to blow it off and move on.

In any event, while I’m decompressing, I might as well let out the rant of the day, right?

Y’all know that my friends are few, but I’d walk through fire for them. One often wonders if they’d do the same (if they can possibly fit it into their schedules, she says sarcastically, noting however that she’s having a hard time getting back to people as well and, often, just not making the time), but that’s a whole ‘nother shitload of topics.

My point (if I haven’t lost you to boredom or suicide yet!) is that I wonder if we and our friends do a disservice or a favor to each other by being hopeful or encouraging during strange situations.

Don’t get me wrong — this is under the assumption that we all have each other’s best interests at heart — but sometimes I wonder when it’s right to encourage someone in their pursuits and when to give them a cold, hard reality check.

I am often the voice of reason that everybody dreads, and by the time they come to me to ask advice, they know I am going to paint the picture with a red pen before I will pull out the watercolor brushes. But after people come to you again and again with the same concern, I find that I will start blurring the edges off what I’ve originally said, because they are clearly seeking approval and not a realisitc portrait.

Nothing wrong with that, of course — we realists do have a flair for the macabre sometimes.

And that “I told you so” rush (even though we’re classy enough to NEVER say it) keeps us confident that we are Smart and Omniscient.

Now comes the conundrum. Hope and I have had quite the adversarial relationship during the past year. It avoided me like the plague and when it did drop in for a visit, it got crowded out by Fear and Desperation — the party-crashers. And Hope has a gentle nature, as do I, and doesn’t feel welcome in a mosh pit.

But Hope and I have been fraternizing again. Like, we’re sharing a cup of coffee with the Muse a few times a week, even. And Hope has been filling my head with all kinds of crazy ideas, which the Muse likes to serve up at odd moments throughout the day and night.

And this shit? Scares me. Because I am never sure what’s one of my Allison DuBois-inspired psychic flashes and what’s simply a sugar-plum dream.

So, once in a blue moon, I turn to a real person for help in sorting out the messages. And maybe I’m the hard-ass in the group, but I get lots of encouragement — that anything I want can come true and all I have to do is believe in it and believe in my own power to will things into existence.

And sometimes I do get caught up in that kind of Tinkerbell-inspired fairy dust. But I don’t want to slip on it and lose my balance, either.

There are ways I used to feel and things I used to believe, and about half of them are still with me and the other half have evaporated due to time, circumstance or experience. I don’t marry myself to an idea or to an ideal, for that matter. And maybe the epiphany I pull out of this is that friends have an easier time being hopeful for each other but can’t see good things for ourselves if we trip over them with our very own feet.

But I found myself at an odd crossroads recently (even if only in my own mind), where I would swear that I saw something good within my line of vision and decided that I really would like to see it come to fruition. And this kind of jarred me a bit — because I am the world’s most proficient procrastinator and often resolve my own personal dilemmas by doing not a goddamned thing about them. Therefore, the decisions ultimately resolve themselves — Inertia wins, and the world keeps turning. Things clearly weren’t meant to be, then, in my rationale.

Yet my friend Shan, who DOES give me the occasional kick in the ass surprised me and said, “Go for it. Work it out. Figure it out. GET IT. And give me every juicy detail when you’re done!”

And I am not sure whether to thank her or go kick HER ass for giving me the permission I needed (albeit, from myself) to dream BIGGER. To question, to challenge, to run ahead and apologize to no one. To work on creating a fabulous story to tell someday.

To, if I’m going to have regret, then revel in the fact that I DID something and that I didn’t let something PASS ME BY.

I’ve changed for the better in a lot of ways in a very short time. But with that came the sacrifice of letting go of some of the qualities about myself that I used to love, and that included a love affair with the “so-the-hell-what.”

Mom always says, “Do something, even if it’s wrong.” And who’s to say that anything we are thinking/wanting is wrong? It’s all a means to an end, in any event.

Our best memories aren’t of times when we did the “proper” thing and played life as safely as possible — we remember when we did something wild and wonderful and maybe even out of character. We didn’t ask permission and we certainly weren’t planning our apologies before we dived headfist into our mischief.

And, no matter what the result, we grew. We stretched ourselves, our capabilities, our emotions, our knowledge, our expectations. We rocked.

The bottom line is that I don’t know what it is that I’m going to do with all this excess energy, but I’ve got to do SOMETHING other than NOTHING.

And I can’t wait to tell everyone all about it, whatever it ends up being. 😉

On iTunes: Vanessa Daou, “How Far”

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